The Virtual Reconstruction of the Church of Oulainen

Image from Suomen museot online. d

The church of Oulainen was built in 1754 and has had three different appearances over the years. There has been a unique set of paintings in the church, which had been covered and was later revealed. The first two phases of the church of Oulainen were virtually reconstructed as a part of studies in 2003. Marja-Liisa Rajaniemi, an expert of ecclesiastical art of the 18th century, was chiefly responsible of the research data. The photographing was done by Heikki Hanka and Ari Häyrinen; the latter was also responsible of the 3D-models and image manipulations.

The beginning

The reconstruction of the first phase of the church was very challenging since there was very little reference material available. The church was elevated during the changes in 1882, so construction of the model was started by lowering the church and placing the bench blocks. Most of the reconstruction decisions had to be made by finding analogies from other churches. The size and the shape of the church were known, as were the positions of the pulpit and the altar.

The location of the windows could be estimated based on the current window positions. The windows were construed based on the fragment of the window of the Merijärvi church. There were no description of the altar and it was construed based on the altar of Teerijärvi church.

The Neo-Gothic alterations

The first phase of the church ended in 1882, when major changes were then made in the church: The Neo-Gothic style was used and the church's interior and exterior were totally re-designed. This second phase is very well documented since there are photographs of both the interior and exterior; building drawings also exist.

Although the second phase was well documented, we wanted to reconstruct the colours and the rich wooden decorations which were no longer visible and could be only seen in the colour analysis.